Once you’ve gathered all the necessary materials for your comic book project, assembled a team, and created some samples to demonstrate the story’s potential, the next step is to secure funding. Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and Crowdfunder are popular choices. I have personally used both IndieGoGo and Kickstarter, and successfully raised funds for my own projects. For The City, we successfully completed 2 Kickstarter campaigns to help cover production costs for Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.
Raising funds for your comic book project is important for several reasons:
- Production Costs: Comic book production can be costly, especially if you plan to hire a team of artists, writers, editors, and other professionals. Raising funds through crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter can help cover these costs and ensure that your project gets off the ground. Make sure to research print costs from your local shops as well as nation wide commercial options.
- Marketing: Once your comic book is produced, you need to market it to potential readers. This includes activities like advertising, attending conventions, and creating promotional materials. Crowdfunding campaigns can also serve as a form of marketing, as they generate buzz and attract attention from potential readers.
- Community Building: Crowdfunding campaigns allow you to connect with a community of people who are interested in your project. This can help build a fan base and create a loyal following, which can be valuable for future projects. Although The City only saw a few people outside of our network as backers, we had the opportunity to meet some of them in person through conventions. It’s really cool to meet someone at a convention and they tell you that they backed both of our Kickstarter campaigns!
- Creative Freedom: Raising funds through crowdfunding platforms gives you creative freedom and allows you to bypass traditional gatekeepers like publishers or investors. This means that you can create the comic book you want without having to compromise on your vision. This is it -one of the main reasons why creators do it, and the thing is if there’s market fit, your project will find funding!
How The City used Kickstarter to Get Funded!
1. Plan Your Campaign
Before you begin, understand that you will need to spend at least a month of planning before you create your campaign. I’ve made the mistake in the past of starting the campaign without doing any research or thorough planning, and I didn’t understand why my crowdfunding was unsuccessful.
When planning your Kickstarter campaign to fund your comic book, it’s important to be strategic about the amount of money you need to raise and the duration of your campaign. Start by assessing your costs and determining the minimum amount of funding you need to bring your project to life. Be sure to consider all aspects of the production process, such as writing, illustration, printing, distribution, and marketing, and factor in any fees associated with running a Kickstarter campaign.
Once you have a clear idea of how much money you need, set a realistic funding goal. Your funding goal should cover all the necessary costs and allow for a small buffer in case of unexpected expenses such as platform fees. It’s also important to consider how long your campaign will run. Kickstarter campaigns can run for a maximum of 60 days, but it’s generally recommended to keep them shorter, around 30 days, to maintain momentum and urgency. You will notice that longer campaigns will plateau off in engagement and people will lose interest. It also means longer time delay in receiving the funds.
Creating a timeline for your campaign is also essential. Break down the various stages of your campaign, such as pre-launch, launch, and post-launch, and set deadlines for each. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you’re staying on track with your goals. Additionally, consider planning out your social media and marketing strategy, including creating engaging content, reaching out to potential backers and influencers, and building excitement for your project.
Lastly, but most importantly, make a list of absolutely EVERYONE that you know -even if it’s someone you’re barely acquainted with but you have their contacts (email or phone). Ask your team members to do the same so by the time you launch the campaign, there’s a big list ready at your disposal.
2. Create Your Campaign
Creating your Kickstarter campaign is where you will showcase your comic book and convince people to back your project. Here are some steps to help you create a successful campaign:
- Create a compelling video: Kickstarter campaigns with a video have a higher success rate than those without one. Your video should showcase your comic book, its concept, and what makes it unique. You can include sketches, artwork, or even a short animation to give backers a glimpse of what they can expect. Research into how other creators are marketing themselves. Find a method that works naturally for you and make sure it’s sharable in all formats such as email and social media.
- Write a detailed project description: Your project description should be clear, concise, and engaging. It should explain the story, characters, and the creative team behind the comic book. Use bullet points or subheadings to break up the text and make it easier to read. Be sure to mention your funding goal, the length of your campaign, and what you plan to do with the funds raised.
- Set up reward tiers for backers: Reward tiers are incentives for backers to support your project. They should be creative, relevant, and offer good value for the money. Consider offering limited edition prints, signed copies of the comic book, or even a chance to be drawn into the story as a character. Make sure you price your rewards appropriately and offer options for backers at different price points.
3. Promote Your Campaign
Here are some tips on how to effectively promote your Kickstarter campaign:
- Social media: Share your campaign on all of your social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Create and schedule engaging graphics or videos that showcase your project and its unique aspects. Consider using hashtags related to comic books, crowdfunding, or your specific genre to reach a wider audience. Write a short pitch that you can copy and paste message to your network.
- Comics-related blogs and websites: Reach out to blogs and websites related to comic books, graphic novels, or crowdfunding to promote your campaign. Write a press release or pitch explaining your project and why it’s worth backing. You can also offer exclusive interviews, sneak peeks, or guest blog posts to drive more traffic to your campaign page.
- Collaborations: Consider collaborating with other creators or artists to cross-promote each other’s campaigns. You can also reach out to influencers or popular bloggers in the comic book community to help promote your campaign.
- Email marketing: Remember that list you built during the planning stage? It’s time to send out a mass email out to let everyone know about your comic book! If you already have a mailing list, send out newsletters or updates about your campaign. Consider offering exclusive content or early bird perks to your subscribers to incentivize them to back your project. Blast out emails as soon as you launch your campaign, then again after a few days. At most I would probably send 3-4 emails with this list -you don’t want to annoy or turn anyone off.
- Engage with potential backers: Interact with potential backers on social media, respond to comments and questions, and thank backers for their support. Offer updates on the progress of your campaign and any stretch goals that may be achieved. Keep your backers engaged and excited about your project throughout the campaign.
4. Launch & Delivery
- Launch your campaign: Launch your Kickstarter campaign and start promoting it heavily. Monitor your progress and adjust your strategy as needed.
- Fulfill rewards: Once your Kickstarter campaign is successful, you will need to fulfill the rewards promised to backers. Be sure to communicate clearly and consistently with your backers throughout the fulfillment process.
Remember to research other successful Kickstarter campaigns for inspiration and guidance. It’s also important to have a realistic funding goal and a solid plan in place to ensure the success of your campaign. Good luck!
Examples of The City Kickstarter Campaigns
While they may not be the best examples of a wildly successful fundraising campaign, the first two Kickstarters we launched for The City have been funded over their goals. Both campaigns took at least 1 month of careful planning and marketing.
- Pledge The City, Chapter 1: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/serazard/pledge-the-city
- Pledge The City, Chapter 2: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/serazard/pledge-the-city-chapter-2